(The Center Square) – Ahead of the U.S. House of Representatives voting on two articles of impeachment against U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, two Republicans said they would vote not to impeach.
House Republicans can only lose one more vote and still be able to pass the impeachment articles. Republicans hold a majority of 219 seats with three vacancies; Democrats hold 212 seats with one vacancy.
On Tuesday, the Chair of the House Committee on Homeland Security, Rep. Mark Green, R-Tenn., presented the two articles of impeachment against Mayorkas. Article I charges him with “Willful and Systemic Refusal to Comply with the Law”; Article II charges him with “Breach of Public Trust.”
“For nearly a year, the House Committee on Homeland Security conducted a thorough, fair, and comprehensive investigation into the causes, costs, and consequences of the border crisis,” Green said. “Throughout this investigation and our subsequent impeachment proceedings, we found that Secretary Mayorkas’ willful and systemic refusal to comply with the law and his breach of public trust are responsible for this historic crisis.”
“Secretary Mayorkas has explicitly refused to comply with the law,” Green continued. “If your refusal to obey the law leads to the death of your fellow citizens, you no longer deserve to keep your job. What’s unique here in the history of impeachments is that the Supreme Court, just this summer, denied the affected States judicial review on many of these issues, but with the understanding that the result of doing so could mean the impeachment of a Secretary.”
On Tuesday morning, U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, R-California, released a 10-page memo explaining how Green’s committee “failed to identify an impeachable crime that Mayorkas has committed. In effect, they stretch and distort the Constitution in order to hold the administration accountable for stretching and distorting the law.”
He said in a statement on the House floor on Tuesday that “Secretary Mayorkas … is guilty of maladministration of our immigration laws on a cosmic scale but we know that’s not grounds for impeachment because the American founders specifically rejected it. They didn’t want political disputes to become impeachments because that would shatter the separation of powers that vests the enforcement of the laws with the president no matter how bad a job he does. Cabinet secretaries can’t serve two masters. They can be impeached for committing a crime relating to their office but not for carrying out presidential policy. This border crisis can’t be fixed by replacing one left wing official with another. It can only be fixed by the American people at the ballot box by replacing this administration with one committed to securing our borders, defending our country, and upholding the rule of law. Americans are already coming to that conclusion and I’m afraid that stunts like this don’t help.”
U.S. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colorado, also said he will vote no.
“Secretary Mayorkas has completely failed at his job. He is incompetent. He is an embarrassment. Secretary Mayorkas will be remembered as the worst Secretary of Homeland Security in history. While inexcusable, this incompetence is not constitutional grounds for an impeachment,” Buck wrote in an op-ed published in The Hill. “The Constitution is clear that impeachment is reserved for ‘Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.’ Maladministration or incompetence does not rise to what our founders considered an impeachable offense,” he argued, adding that “Republicans should follow the Constitution and not impeach Mayorkas.”
Green disagreed, saying Mayorkas “is the very type of public official the Framers feared – someone who would cast aside the laws passed by a co-equal branch of government, replacing those with his own preferences – hurting his fellow Americans in the process.”
Green also said they were not impeaching Mayorkas over “policy differences. … We are here because our oath and duty compel us to be here. The actions and decisions of Secretary Mayorkas have left us with no other option than to proceed with articles of impeachment. That is why we must remove him from office. The time for accountability is now.”